Location: Dairy and Functional Foods ResearchTitle: Electrospinning of caseinates to create protective fibrous mats
Submitted to: Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Electrospinning is a nonthermal process that produces fibers on the micron- or nano-scale from a polymer solution. If produced by electrospinning of biopolymer solutions, fibrous mats may be created for protecting foods and allowing for the preservation and controlled release of bioactives for health and wellness. The objective of this study was to create fibers for food use by electrospinning aqueous solutions containing calcium (CaCAS), sodium caseinate (NaCAS), or caseinate (CAS) with a polysaccharide, such as Pullulan (PUL), and examine the structures of the fibrous mats. An electrospinning unit was used to generate the fibers at 50 degrees C using from 11 to 23 KV and flow rates from 0.4-3.0 mL/h. The morphologies of the fibrous mats were determined using scanning electron microscopy equipped with software to sample 100 of the constituent fibers to calculate mean diameters. Fibers were not produced by electrospinning 5, 10, or 15% (w/w) aqueous solutions of either CAS, because of little interaction among the CAS, but were produced when the solutions of either CAS were blended with PUL. PUL forms entanglements and served as a carrier for CAS. Electrospinning of neat 15% PUL solutions resulted in fibers with mean diameters of 190 +/- 50 nm while electrospinning of CaCAS:PUL solutions resulted in fibers within the range of the pure PUL fibers. This indicated interaction between CaCAS:PUL since larger fibers would be expected if CaCAS was located on the surface of PUL, as shown for NaCAS:PUL fibers. This study provides the first example of CAS fibers prepared using a carrier, rendering a new dairy product with potential use in food applications. Electrospinning at 25 to 50 deg C may preserve the activities of most bioactives embedded in the fibers.